Having formed my own corporation and also managed a number of non-profit corporations, I am struck by how a corporation is just like a any other organism. Thinking about this, I came up with the following system to help define what a corporation is and how it consists of three distinct systems that have biological counterparts:
1) Ego & Intelligence System:
Operations is the consciousness and personality of the organization. It is the purpose behind the corporation’s existence. The buck stops here for anything that ultimately goes wrong. Operational and Executive Leadership is under the direction of the President (and Vice Presidents) and Chief Executive Officer (and Chief Operations Officers), and anyone else involved with managing the affairs of the corporation.
2) Nervous & Chemical System:
Administration is the nerve-chemical communications system and is essential to keeping the various systems working together. Organizational Integrity is under the direction of the Secretary, Chief Administration Officer, Chief Technology Officer, and everyone else involved with administrating the business of the corporation. This would included everything from corporate By-Laws to computer systems.
3) Cardiovascular & Respiratory System:
Money and Capital is the cardiovascular and respiratory system that is necessary for a corporation to live. Financial Accountability is under the direction of the Treasurer, Chief Financial Officer, and everyone else involved in controlling and spending the funds of the corporation.
Like any healthy biological body, it stands to reason then that all three systems need to function in unison to ensure the good health for the corporation and to thrive just like any living organism.